We thought it was easy. When we ventured into the FinTech world, we thought we could get up and running quickly. Our ideas were good, our credentials were excellent, our track record was strong, our intentions honorable, our outlook optimistic - easy, right?
Nothing prepared us for what was to come.
The tsunami scale of the barriers that the world of finance, banking, and regulatory affairs would put in front of us and the labyrinth of relationships and connections that we would have to figure out to navigate so we could get to our goal of launching a fully-featured payment app was truly unimaginable to us at the outset.
We were like happy-go-lucky warriors, we just knew we could break through every barrier… with creativity, smarts, and will power…
I remember that we spoke to a well-known consultant in the payments space - looking for advice about how to overcome the barriers and she said “my best advice…don’t even try… this world is way too hard…” and we brushed her off as tired and spent.
But our perception of insurmountability grew by the day and we came to realize that she was right: The constructs of the existing financial system ensure a long-term hold on any aspect of taking, storing or moving money around. In fact, no one could move a cent (up to the arrival of Fintech) without going through a series of endless gates that were meant to ensure long term dominance of money by the powers that were.
I kind of think of the process of enabling ourselves to be able to store and move money - like I think about climbing a mountain, each time you think you are seeing the top, and feel really good that you’ve ‘summited’ - you hit that point and realize it was just a fold in the landscape and there’s a whole new long stretch to climb and that you’re not even remotely near your summit destination.
So that’s when we came to the conclusion that like climbing Everest, you need a Sherpa.
In every other industry, the technological revolution has either transformed or killed the way things were done. Whether it was travel, advertising, classifieds, communications (Local and long-distance), healthcare, the automotive world, movies, television, hospitality, and even the basic ties of our social interaction.
Banks were happy to underwrite the disruption in every industry but their own!
The actual keepers of the cash are at the top of the food chain. But technology is unstoppable.
Here we are in the decade that financial services, financial products, and financial institutions are all being deeply disrupted. But it's still not easy. Or should I say, Not easy enough?
That's why we launched Alviere.
Our goal is to make a deep disruption in the financial services space easier. And not just to make it easier for fintechs, but for **any** company that wants to disrupt the financial order to provide financial services without having to go through the Via Dolorosa of enablement that we went through. So whether you’re a cable company, or an internet company or a gaming company or a supermarket or a high-powered celebrity or a fan organization; whether you’re a sports racing company business or a company that manufactures farm equipment. Anyone of these will benefit on multiple levels, from offering financial services to their customers, from having the power to hold people's money, with both social and financial benefit for all, getting ever closer, together to the top of the food chain.
But no one will go there if it's hard.
No one will go there if it means risking your job, or your company’s future. No one will go there without knowing for sure whether it's possible and what to expect. No one will go there if the outcome is not assured, at least from a regulatory and business infrastructure point of view. No one will go there if it means months and years of work with no guarantee of launching and getting to market. It’s simple. When it comes to money… people want certainty.
Because it took us 18 months to get up and running. 18 months filled with uncertainty and dread that we were not going to make it. And it took us a full 24 months to get to stability and to the sense of understanding that we were in control, that we knew what to do, who we talk to, where to go to get things done; to understand how to understand the good things and mitigate the bad things that have to do with taking people's money and holding it.
And there was no one out there to help us, to smooth our way, to make it easy to win, to let us focus on doing what we did best - providing technology and the best customer experience, solving real-world problems, giving open access to people who never had the opportunity to become part of the financial system for low to no fees, to increase privacy protection, to reduce friction.
No one helped us do any of those things, but we realized - we could help others. We could help others transcend the pain, smooth the path, offer a plethora of financial products without ANY of the torture that we had to go through to get there. After all, we had built a phenomenal platform to support our ambitions and the goals that we had laid down to allow people to give and get money any way they chose, to move money around the world without having to mortgage their house to do it, to do anything they want with their money without having to give up their privacy, to support every type of transaction, both domestic and international.
We had built this great platform to support all those ambitions with the most innovative, modern, state-of-the-art technology and we could make it available to anyone.
So we launched Alviere. Because Fintechs aren’t the only ones disrupting banking and we knew that with our technology we could make enabling financial services easy.
I like to think of us as the future AWS of Financial Services. With AWS - you don't need to buy and maintain your own servers. You don't need to manage loading balancing. You don't need to figure out capacity. You don’t need to worry about storage, networking, databases, deployment management, or developer tools…you just buy it off the shelf. With none of the headaches.
Same with Alviere. Our goal is to allow anyone to be a bank, to provide any kind of financial service that they wish and become Fintech revolution, step up and get closer to the top of the food chain, without breaking, makes it easy for anyone to start small. Think Big and access a broad array of financial products with almost no effort, with record speed, with no risk to their business. Only focused on the opportunity ahead. Only focused on Goodness.